The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that U.S. honey first handlers and importers have approved continuing the National Honey Board research and promotion program.
In the referendum, 73.8% of first handlers and importers voting, who represented 85.5% of the volume of honey or honey products voting in the referendum, were in favor of continuing the program. Over 50% of the first handlers and importers voting and over 50% of the volume voting in the referendum were required for the program to continue.
To be eligible to participate in the referendum, first handlers and importers had to handle or import at least 250,000 pounds of honey or honey products during the representative period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021, and be subject to assessments under the program.
The Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, which has been administered by the National Honey Board since 2008, requires USDA to conduct a referendum every seven years to determine whether the industry is in favor of continuing the program. For the program to continue, first handlers and importers had to approve the program by a majority of handlers and importers voting in the referendum, who also represent a majority of the volume represented in the referendum.
The honey research and promotion program is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996. The program was developed to administer an effective and coordinated program of generic promotion, consumer information and related research designed to drive consumption of honey and honey products in the U.S.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight of 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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